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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Allen Cooper (Binghamton University) vs. Opposition: Candace Hamilton (San Diego Christian College)

Judge: Carlos Varela (University of Vermont)

Resolution: Resolved: This house believes that being a vegetarian is a better ethical choice than meat eating.

  • Allen Cooper
    Allen Cooper

    Candace Hamilton
    Candace Hamilton
    Click to begin

    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at October 7, 2014 01:31:07AM EST by Allen Cooper



    First Argument, Sources from books (Qualifications stated):
    "The China Study"

    "The Power of your plate"

    Second Argument:,8599,1839995,00.html#ixzz1M5g27DRf

    Third Argument:
    General Knowledge

    Posted at October 8, 2014 12:55:15AM EST by Candace Hamilton



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at October 9, 2014 02:02:22AM EST by Allen Cooper



    Humans weren't meant to eat meat:

    Global Warming:


    Water Scarcity:

    Farm Size:

    Posted at October 9, 2014 03:45:57PM EST by Candace Hamilton



    None available for this speech.

    Posted at October 11, 2014 12:06:36AM EST by Allen Cooper



    None available for this speech.


    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at October 13, 2014 01:37:05AM EST by Carlos Varela

    Category Allen Cooper Candace Hamilton
    Use of evidence: 3 2.2
    Delivery skill: 3.3 2.9
    Coherence of arguments: 3.2 2.4
    Responsiveness to opponent: 3.7 4
    Identification of key points: 4.1 2.7
    Comments: Good opening constructive. All the basic points were there: definition of key terms, and id of key arguments: health, environmental impacts, and killing animals is bad.

    With regards to your second speech:

    Stylistic Point: I was a bit put off by your use of speed ie talking fast. I know that was not 300 words per minute fast, but still went above conversational speed. When you are debating someone who is not using speed at all, it just seems to stick out. You were rushed because you wanted to refute and win every arugment advanced by your opponent. Instead of feeling the need to refute every single claim, group similar arguments, prioritize which arguments to dismantle their case against your advocacy. Think of it as Jenga (the boardgame). You could dismantle the tower by removing every single brick OR simply remove the key bricks that bring the whole tower down. Jenga~!

    Procedural arguments cannot be advanced as a garnish or even side dish to the main course. If you are going to put forth a procedural argument, you have to be ready to bring the whole debate to a stand still because your opponent did something so out of the ordinary that it literally made it impossible to debate the topic anymore, and they should lose for that reason. It should consume 75% of your speech. In my experience, half-hearted procedurals never win. It's a gamble, all in or nothing. By the way, not citing evidence is usually not enough to justify a procedural violation. Not citing evidence turns her argument from an argument with evidence/proof to an analytical argument (which still need to be answered, with or without a citation/author).

    Your proposition closing AKA "the last opportunity you have to convince the judge why you won the debate and why voting for the opposition would be calamitous and would lead to all evil in the world" speech.

    I was once in a competitive debate in college where I was giving my 2nd affirmative rebuttal (the equivalent to the proposition closing) and decided that I had the debate sewn up so tight, I thought there was no way I could lose. I lost.

    I learned that day, that no matter how badly one may think you are beating your opponent in a competitive debate, each second you have should be treated as a scarce and valuable commodity. Never give up speech time.

    I realize that the previous speech had no argumentation and you thought you had the W in the bag, but as a debater, you need to develop that ability and skill to write the judges ballot for the judge. Judges hate having to feel like they were involved in determining the outcome. They want the debaters to tell them in their final speeches WHY they WON the debate (notice WON in past tense. Constructives are where you debate; rebuttal speeches are for telling the judge why you won the debate.

    Good job though, you did win. But kind of by default and barely done enough.

    All in all, good debate. Feel free to contact me for any further questions.

    Candace, being on the opposition to this topic is not easy; I sure don't envy you.

    My strategy for opposing this topic would have been to approach the philosphical side of the resolution and call into question what is "ethical" and brought forth arguments that illustrate the danger of imposing one's ethics onto other people. Ask your coach about the dangers of "otherization" for more on this line of argumentation.

    There are moment you showed great potential, and other moment you missed the mark.

    The good news is that you are very good at doing what we like to call "line by line" in debate. This does not come easy to many new debaters. You refuted almost every single claim made by the Prop.

    (Please read my Jenga analogy in my comments to Allen)

    The flip side of that coin, is that your first opposition was limited to only this (refuting Allen's arguments). Your entire speech was spent refuting his arguments. So why is that bad? It is bad in a competitive debate setting because refuting his arguments are all defensive arguments; you need offense to win. Understanding offensive vs defensive arguments can be tricky, but be sure to ask a coach, or feel free to ask me to elaborate and I will be more than glad to further explain this to you.

    Your second speech was a first for me. You claimed that you could not see the video which had been set to private. My main problem with this is that you did not try. You conceded your entire speech to a technical difficulty. Assuming what you say is true, you still could have filled your video refuting his arguments (defensive arguments) and elaborate your own (offensive arguments). You knew what his first speech was and where he was going with that. Perhaps you could not have done a full "line by line" as you did in your first speech, but you could have filled those valuable minutes convincing the judge why your advocacy is worth voting for and why your opponents arguments are not.

    If it is true that you could not see the video, your recourse should have been to contact the tournament administrator in a timely fashion.

    The decision is for the Proposition: Allen Cooper

    Reason for Decision:

    Opposition did not address the topic at all in her Opposition Closing, claiming a technical difficulty had impeded her from being able to address the propositions arguments. Assuming the honor code is in place and that there is a presumption of innocence of any fraudulent wrongdoing on behalf of the Proposition, and moreover given the fact that I, as the judge, was able to see the video, have to concede the Propositions arguments in his Proposition Closing.

    Winner: Proposition, Allen Cooper.


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